‘There is light at the end of this tunnel’: Homeless community can qualify for stimulus check

Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 5:55 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Many Americans are now seeing stimulus payments arrive in their bank accounts, and it can provide a tremendous boost for people who are homeless.

People without a permanent address can still get the money, even if they didn’t file a tax return and don’t have a bank account.

Those who are homeless may even have a stimulus waiting for them but because they don’t have a mailing address, they aren’t receiving their money.

Officials at the Kearney Center told WCTV that they’ve been able to get hundreds of clients their payments.

“Collecting stimulus payments for the clients that we represent has been quite a challenge,” said Chuck White, a consultant with the Kearney Center.

White says about 300 of their 400 clients have now received their stimulus payments.

The center works with the Legal Services of North Florida to get their clients in an IRS program that targets the homeless and those with low income.

The program allows non-filers to still receive their payments.

“Of course, many of our clients don’t have direct deposit and so they end up with either the card or a paper check,” said White.

One Kearney Center client, David Schueller, has been without a permanent home since December of 2019.

But Schueller was still able to get his federal relief check.

“My case manager Renee helped me fill out a non-filers form to send in and my stimulus checks have actually come to here or they get disperse to the hotels and I’ve actually gotten both of mine,” said Schueller.

He says the first thing he did with his payments was buy a bus pass so he could find a job.

“When you’re homeless and don’t have that transportation or car or anything else and you’re in the sticks in the hotels you have to walk everywhere. So, it’s really tough looking for a job at that point,” said Schueller.

He says he is thankful to the Kearney Center for helping him secure his payment and slowly get back on his feet.

“I was kind of at that point mentally where I wasn’t sure I was ever going to get out of this situation, then when I got that first stimulus payment it was like okay, there is light at the end of this tunnel,” said Schueller.

Chuck White with the Kearney Center says many of their clients have been using their stimulus to get housing.

In addition to homeless shelters, stimulus checks can also be sent to the post office and church addresses.

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